Street light switch-off set to start in April

Streetlights on Bradley Stoke Way

The majority of street lights in Bradley Stoke are set to be turned off for five hours a night, after a public consultation found that 54% of respondents agreed with an energy-saving  scheme put forward by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).

A further 23% of respondents said they supported the scheme in general but submitted suggestions for amendments.

The big switch-off is likely to start in April after members of Bradley Stoke Town Council voted for the scheme to be implemented without alteration despite 36 of the 153 respondents making constructive suggestions for changes.

Mayor Ben Walker told The Journal that he had personally considered all the comments made by members of the public but in the end chose to recommend that the scheme be implemented as originally proposed.

All 80 comments submitted by members of the public can now be viewed on the Town Council website [here, MS Word]. A fair number fall into the Nimbyist “it’s a good idea but not in my street” category and many express concerns about an increase in crime.

Strangely, the Town Council didn’t specify the savings expected to made by the scheme in Bradley Stoke but a similar scheme in Thornbury is reported to be expected to save £12,000 per annum with a return on investment after 18 months.

The proposal document acknowledged that “fine tuning” of the scheme might be required and stated that “requests for the reinstatement of individual streetlights to all night operation will be considered by the Town Council on their merits”.

However, the Town Council now appears to want to avoid getting involved with the “fine tuning”, with Town Clerk Sharon Petela telling The Journal that this will be handled directly by SGC once the scheme is up and running.

The Journal comments

The Town Council is to be applauded for staging the public consultation but those who took the time to submit comments will be right to feel aggrieved that their input has been ignored.

It seems that our Town Councillors simply don’t want to get involved in the finer details of the scheme – hardly a good example of “localism” in practice. This is perhaps no surprise after some Councillors originally demanded a payback guarantee from SGC before they would support a public consultation on the switch-off scheme.

One suspects that some Councillors will be hoping that the big switch-off is delayed until after the May elections, in order to avoid a possible backlash by disaffected Nimby voters.

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  1. Well, 54%…..stupid.
    I hope that we will see a rise of crime at night….without lights…easier.
    And maybe they will cut also our council tax because….1400 pounds for a three bedroom house….and no lights on the streets at night + nobody to clean the streets + rubish every 2 weeks….WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING???
    Nobody care or what? Are you all ROBOT? It has to be paid so let’s pay it!!!
    Unbelievable!!! Just came back from Spain where: 350 euros coucil tax a year with: Rubish daily + streets lights + gardener from the city council working every day cleaning the roads+ roundabout always with nice flowers + library + public swimming pool and a long etc…..
    But not a problem: Lib Dem are here to help us…reinventing the word POLITIC!!!! Amazing!!!!! Really: WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING???

  2. 54% is hardly a clear majority so you think the Town council may take into account the towns peoples comments and suggestions but no our own Mayor decides that would be too much trouble. This Town council is all talk and very little action. What is the point of doing a good job of public consultation and we all respond accordingly if we are going to be ignored. Now to make matters worse we find the town council have washed their hands of the whole scheme and we have to go to South Glos with any issues. Wonder How much we would save without having the Town council????

  3. Jon Williams……. Lib Dem and conservative are the same. This is the big society….the com-dem governement. For me both are equally uselless, and the Lib Dem became the most hated in politics in the UK. About the lights….what have the lib-dem to say? Are they against and fighting….or keep quiet . Again…..a lost generation.

  4. So, 54% majority support this? That’s 83 people out of the 154 who took the time to respond, or are even aware of this proposal?
    Last time I checked the population of Bradley Stoke is 20,000.
    I take exception to the use of the term “Nimbyist” by the Journal as if an individual does not have the right to be concerned. Correct me if I am wrong, but this IS in my backyard, and if someone has concerns about their safety and not wanting see an increase in crime, they are entitled to say so – and from my interpretation of the comments, there was no suggestion of “it’s ok as long as it’s not someone else not me” – even those where there were requests to keep their own on did not imply that this meant you could switch everyone else’s off.
    As one of the people who will NOT be hugely affected by the big switch off, as I live near the behemoth that is Tesco but with a 2 mile walk home from work along some unlit streets through Stoke Gifford and Little Stoke, past open parks and cycle paths, I can understand people’s concerns and the town council and the Journal should not dismiss them as “nimbyist” or a few people just having a grump.
    I am all for saving energy and peoples carbon footprint, and I am of the opinion (humble as it may be) that a reduction in lighting rather than a complete switch-off would have been more appropriate.
    I myself only became aware of this plan as I check the Journal once in a while. So, tell me, Councillors, WHY wasn’t this leafleted to EVERY residence in Bradley Stoke? Do they truly believe that burying it in a “Newsletter” that very few people will read properly, sticking it on a Website that most people probably don’t even know exists, on Notice Boards that I don’t even know where they are, handing it out at a Festival where most people won’t realise the importance of “another” piece of paper thrust into their hands and was probably placed in the nearest bin, is effective Public Consultation? Not in my view it wasn’t. And what even IS the SSGC Meeting?? Are we all supposed to be in attendance at that?
    The very fact that only 10 people turned up at the Drop In Session should have given them a bit of a clue as to the effectiveness. They should have had a leaflet solely for this plan. I live in a flat, and I don’t even recall ever receiving a Town Council Newsletter, where and to whom, exactly, do these get delivered to?
    In my opinion, a poorly thought out, inconsiderate plan, ineffective consultation and a clear case of the Town Council jumping on the environmental bandwagon in order to please SGC with no consideration to the residents they are elected to serve. Big gold star to the Council for this idea. I think the move to the shiny new offices they are building for themselves has clearly taken a priority here. As long as the Town Council has its nice, safe, warm, well lit environment for its meetings, then that’s ok.

  5. @Joanne

    I’d just like to make clear that I was using the term “Nimby” in its non-pejorative sense, i.e. “to describe people who advocate some proposal … but oppose implementing it in a way that would require sacrifice on their part” [ref: Wikipedia] and in relation to the 23% who SUPPORTED the proposals but suggested ammendments, which were generally of the form “please leave the lights on in MY street”.

    For the record, the part-night street lighting consultation was detailed over two pages of the October 2010 Town Council newsletter, which should have been delivered to every household in the town. If you didn’t receive it, you should let the Town Council know – they have had problems with their delivery agents in the past and I am sure they would like to know of any current issues in that regard.

    Safer and Stronger Community Group (SSCG) meetings receive regular coverage in The Journal. Click here to see an archive of articles about them.

  6. Well we aint going to see any of the money save for sure. I expect it will get spent on some crackpot ideas that South Glos already have up their sleeve.
    And what news on the other consultation the council did about new offices-where’s the result of that? All being kept quiet is it?

  7. What would have a greater bearing on the lives of those who live in BS would be the turning off of the Aztec West and A38/M5 junction traffic lights outside of busy periods.

    There is no justification for them to be on other than at rush hours and create false traffic queues which would otherwise be allowed to move on unhindered and thus contribute to additional emissions and noise from accelerating vehicles.

    Of course doing something proactive like have part-time lights would be a perk!

    (Note to self, must stop challenging entrenched ideas)

  8. Perhaps a good start would be the glow from the Town centre or should i say Tesco, it’s ridiculous they are allowed to have the lights on in the mall area and outside all night..i feel so sorry for those who back onto it! Just hope nothing happens when people are walking home in the dark…tyical to do it n summer months when people are bound to be out and about more socialising and also the yobs up all hours causing trouble!

  9. Thanks for the link Bert but that refers to motorway lighting being switched off (something I happen to agree with BTW).

    My proposal would switch off traffic lights at non-peak times or use the continental system of permanent flashing amber so all drivers entering a junction have to pay careful attention. The latter doesn’t save electricity but doesn’t hold traffic up for no reason.

  10. Sorry anon-e-mouse – I misread your post!
    I’ve always advocated flashing amber lights, like the US use, after 11pm. I guess the worry is that some people might gamble at junctions.

  11. I am amazed at the amount of people that are going to be awake and around and about in BS at the time that the lights are going to be switched off. I was driving out at 10.30 pm on Friday night and there were hardly any cars then, but plenty of lights gleamimg away (and that included the mass of blue lights at Tesco). WE all have head lights on our cars, right? Most burglaries are commited in the day time, when it’s light and most people are at work. 77% of the amount of people that bothered to reply to the survey agreed with the scheme (23% of those proposed some amendments).
    I’m a bit disapointed that my street will have the lights kept on (it has speed bumps further down the road).

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